What is “Ama” in Ayurveda?

Ama is a term for undigested food that is absorbed by the body but not digested.

Such partially degraded material cannot be used by the system and clogs it, causing a reaction from the immune system and many diseases.

In other words: “ama” is the term by which Ayurveda calls what we usually call “toxins”.

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How Ama is formed?

The accumulation of toxins is the first stage of energy degradation and can be observed in different parts of the body.
Due to the reduced power of the “digestive fire” (agni), food ferments in the stomach and releases substances toxic to the body.

When the doshas Vata, Pitta and Kapha, are in the wrong ratio with each other, this also lead to the formation of Ama dosha.

Why is Ama formed?

Improper nutrition and emotional stress are the two main factors in the formation of Ama.
The mechanisms may be as follows:
  • Negative feelings such as grief, anger, anxiety, fear, etc.
  • Eating foods containing incompatible products, such as milk and fruit
  • Eating heavy or indigestible food
  • Overeating or irregular eating
  • Eating food that is subjectively perceived as unpleasant
  • Regular consumption of raw, cold and uncooked food
  • Eating foods that cause bloating
  • Eating foods that irritate the stomach and intestines
  • Consumption of unclean and contaminated (infected) food
  • Consumption of dry, fried or dehydrated foods
  • Consumption of food soaked in too much water

Main effects of Ama

In the presence of Ama, the nutrients remain unprocessed by the digestive system.

They accumulate in the colon and become a heterogeneous, impure and sticky substance that clogs the intestines, capillaries and blood vessels.

Subsequent chemical reactions lead to the formation of toxins that are absorbed into the bloodstream and enter the general circulation.

Eventually, however, it accumulates in the weaker parts of the body, causing conditions such as:

  • Spasms, obstruction, stagnation and weakness of the organs.
  • Reduction of the body’s resistance.
  • Development of acute and chronic diseases of tissues, organs and systems.

It would not be an exaggeration to say that Ama is the root of all diseases.

Signs and symptoms of ama

clogging of the canals
loss of strength
a barrier to the flow of Vayu
excessive salivation
disorders of the urge to defecate, urinate, excrete gas, etc.
physical illness

The influence of ama on doshas, date (tissue transformation) and mala (waste substances) leads to states called Sama dosha, Sama dathu and Sama mala, respectively, and its absence to Prakruti, Niram dathu and Nirama mala

Here is how these disorders are diagnosed and treated:

Sama Vata

Symptoms of disturbances in the functions of the energy Vata (Sama Vata), which are due to the presence of ama in the body, are:

  • Duct blockage
  • Constipation
  • Lack of appetite
  • Drowsiness
  • Swelling
  • Feeling of daggers
  • Pain in the joints or the whole body

Hot, spicy and dry Ayurvedic products are used to deal with Sama Vata. Dry rubs are also done in the form of massages with herbal powders and Niruha Basti (healing enema with herbal decoction).

Sama Pitta

Signs of disturbances in the functions of the Pitta energy (Sama Pitta), which are due to the presence of ama in the body, are:

  • Stiffness
  • Unpleasant odor
  • Belching with acids
  • Burning in the throat and heart area
  • Green secretions (waste products)
  • Weight in the body

This condition can be affected by the use of bitter Ayurvedic products such as amrut, halo, etc.,

Sama Kapha

Signs of disturbances in the functions of the Kapha energy (Sama Kapha), which are due to the presence of ama in the body, are:

  • Clogged ducts
  • Loss of appetite
  • Stop belching

Fasting (laghana) has been shown to be effective in Sama Kapha.

Sama and Nirama dathu (tissue transformation)

The symptoms of Sama date are specific to the type of tissue transformation.

The date itself is associated with a loss of normal properties and functions caused by accumulation at the cellular level.

At Nirama dathu there is a normal structure and functions.

Sama Purisha (stool)

Here, when defecating, there are symptoms such as:

  • Abundant amount
  • Unpleasant odor
  • Sticky texture
  • Lack of form
  • Immersion in water

The absence of such anomalies is called Nirama purish and is considered the norm in defecation.

Sama Mutra (urine)

In this condition, when urinating are observed:

  • Turbid urine
  • Larger amount and higher density than normal
  • Unpleasant odor

With Nirama puris, the urine is clean, clear, odorless and with a normal amount and density.

Short-term treatment of Ama

The main way to deal with ama is laghana (starvation) until Agni returns to normal.

Other approaches can be:

  • Dry sweating therapy using textile bags filled with different “sand”.
  • Panchakarma, such as Vamana and Virechana, where treatment begins with deepan (appetizers) and palchan (gas agents) and then moves on to the actual detoxification process.

Some of the herbs used in ama disorders are ginger, castor oil, Guduchi, Balataka, Kuchala, etc.

Long-term treatment of Ama

Although Agnimandya (poor “digestive fire”) is the main cause of the accumulation of toxins, there are other factors that contribute to their formation:

  • Weak dhatu (“tissue fire”).
  • Exogenous causes – mainly microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses and fungi.
  • Accumulation of waste products during tissue metabolism.
  • Accumulation of ama on a fine level due to negative feelings.
  • Negative influence of free radicals

Eradicating these causes can prevent the re-accumulation of ama in the body.

Visit Ayurveda Vaidya (doctor) for early diagnosis of Ama

Ayurveda vaidya can diagnose ama by observing the relevant clinical symptoms, by examining the tongue, pulse, etc.

After the appropriate diagnosis, the therapist may recommend programs that affect both the causes of the formation of ama and the consequences.

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